06/03/2004: "That was the strangest explanation I've ever heard."
I know what you're thinking. You're asking yourself "What is a 'compound adjective'?" Here's your answer:
A compound adjective is a group of words that provides a single description of a noun that follows. Use hyphens between the words to make the words appear as a single unit. Thus, proper hyphenation of compound adjectives increases understanding and speeds the reader along.
• The Small Business Administration approved a small-business loan for $2 million.
• He said that the large-appliance industry has been weakened by the recent economic depression.
• His "better-late-than-never" attitude kept him from hearing the opening remarks of many meetings.
The subject of compound adjectives arose in an agency meeting I was at today, after I was asked to explain what one was. I was there with my boss (a man), a female account manager and a male account director.
I thought for a couple of seconds for a suitable example. I knew what I wanted to say. I wanted to say "Must-see movie would be a compound adjective". I'd used the phrase before. It was there in my brain, waiting for retrieval. Except it wasn't. It had dissapeared. So I said the next thing that came into my head:
"An example of a compound adjective would be WELL-HUNG MAN."
"I don't know where that came from," I lied, telling myself to stop looking at porn involving that Cuban guy whose sausage is big as Berlin. (The look on the women's faces...)
It was only slightly more embarassing than when my boss told me to stop talking to female colleagues about pornography.